Carmen Miranda, born in Portugal February 9, 1909, was to become more than simply a woman of Portugal. She was to become a diplomatic spokeswoman for Latin America to the United States of America. Carmen would not only make a name for herself in this role, but a name for all people of Latin America, especially its women. .
When she was just fifteen years old Carmen left school and took a job as a hat maker. It was here that she was first heard singing and was asked to sing at a party for one of her customers. She could never have known then just how important that night would be for her future. That night she was discovered and asked to sign her first contract. .
As her popularity increased from her hit songs, her appearances grew. She would go on to sing on a cruise ship where an American would put her, and her band into the American music industry. When she arrived in America this witty music mogul had the newspapers and radio reporters ready for her. The cameras were wild for her, and radio listeners likewise for her sultry accent. She knew very little English, but ultimately that did not matter to the American people. They liked what they saw and clamored for more Carmen. With the culmination of Carmen Miranda and her fiery dance moves to her passionate songs and the motions of her eyes, no one needed to understand her lyrics they could assume that whatever Latin America had to offer they wanted it. .
She and her band would perform show after show, night after night. Eventually big business turned to Hollywood for Carmen; she began to perform in movies. It was in this way the film industry became an aid to the Government. The President wanted to issue, "The Good Neighbor Policy." That is to have Americans realize that Latin America had many things to offer its Northern brothers. What the government sold was not just the bananas of Latin America to the United States, or Carmen Miranda herself, they sold the idea that Latin America was safe.